tube optimized

Specialist article
Pipelines in power plant construction
Bent to efficiency
High efficiency, low emissions and cost-optimized construction
processes – these are the demands for power plants and their
construction. Pipelines have an essential significance. On the one
hand, tubes or pipes made of wear-resistant and resilient material, as
well as small bending radii enhance the degree of efficiency of power
plants. On the other hand, lean tube bending processes and
contribution to cost efficiency in power plant construction.
The higher the process temperatures of power plants, the higher their
efficiency. So that pipelines can resist the high temperature loads of 600
degrees Celsius and more, (high) temperature-resistant steels such as T91
are increasingly being used. In comparison to normal steels, these have the
required creep strength to resist the loads through pressure and flow
values. When forming these tubes, one must, however, take various
aspects into consideration. Due to the strength of these steels, the bending
machines used here must have the necessary bending forces. Yet despite
the strength, these materials react more sensitive and wall-thickness
tapering and out-of-roundness can occur in the tube bend. It is therefore
essential that the tube bending machines engaged for pipelines in power
plant construction meet the corresponding tolerance specifications. These
include, for example, the European standard EN 12952 or that of the
American Society of Mechanical Engineers ASME B31.1. Meeting these
standards plays a significant role, in particular in light of the fact that power
plant construction makes increasing use of smaller boilers with higher
capacity. Heavier wall thicknesses and smaller bending radii are required to
manufacture these high-performance boilers. Not infrequently, the minimal
bending radius must be 1 x D, depending on tube diameter (in part also
less than 1 x D). In view of the high temperature-resistant and sensitive
materials the bending challenge behind this is correspondingly significant.
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Two bend heads for effective production
Processes can be designed cost efficient through efficiency increase not
just in power plant operation. Lean production processes already provide
an essential contribution towards cost efficiency during the construction of
power plants. That is the reason why machines with two bend heads have
established themselves for the production of pipelines, because they permit
CNC 100 DB Twin by Schwarze-Robitec represents such a solution. It has
two bend heads which can be moved vertically and horizontally (1x left
bending, 1x right bending), which bend the tube alternately clockwise and
anticlockwise. In this manner, the machine offers high flexibility, for
example when manufacturing superheater coils. The tube serpentine does
not need to be turned after each bend, which guarantees quick and
economic production processes and the manufacture of long side lengths.
As an option, both bend heads can also bend in the same bending
direction. By using different sized bend formers, different sized bending
radii can be produced.
CNC 100 DB Twin also takes into consideration the initially described
properties of tubes made of (high) temperature-resistant steels. For a
Chinese power plant builder, for example, Schwarze-Robitec designed both
the CNC 100 DB Twin and the customer-specific bending tools according to
international standards. The power plant builder produces boiler tubes
made of the high-temperature (resistant) steels with dimensions from 32 x
3.5 to 63.5 x 13 millimeters.
Fully automatic manufacturing chains
Fully automatic manufacturing chains make a further contribution towards
cost efficiency in power plant construction. When storage, materialshandling and manufacturing technology interact optimally, they reduce
cycle times and therefore decide about the performance and competitive
edge of a company. Schwarze-Robitec has developed an automation
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concept with which all machines can be fitted with optional extras,
depending on bending order, and expanded to a fully-automatic
CNC 100 DB Twin has just been delivered to the already mentioned
Chinese power plant construction company. The rationalization extends
across the complete production chain: from material supply to handling and
quality testing all the way to the dispatch of the ready bent pipelines.
First off, the tube is moved via a transport system from the warehouse to
the separating unit and is then conducted on to the quality control of the
weld seams. After the x-ray control, the transport system moves the
flawless tube – the faulty ones are rejected – to the other end of the
system. The transport trolley with index head, which is mounted on a
hanging guide surface, takes over the feed to the bending machine and flipover table. The flip-over table is specially designed for handling the long
pipelines. The integrated flip-over arms turn the tube serpentines quickly
and securely between the individual bending procedures. During the
bending procedures, the flip-over arms position themselves flat in rest
position to avoid collision with the serpentines. After the tube system has
been completed on the twin-head machine, it is taken to the Terminal-EndBender with a gripper unit. This is a further bending machine which
undertakes bends in both directions at the rear end of the tube serpentine.
The ready bent tube system is subsequently conducted out of the
manufacturing system by means of the tube ejection unit. All these system
components are operated centrally from an operator’s cabin. With the help
of such automated manufacturing chains large potentials, such as higher
manufacturing speeds and low rejects, can be utilized.
Technical know-how for membrane tube walls
The German manufacturer also offers a specialized bending technology for
the bending of complete membrane tube walls usual in modern boiler and
power plant construction: The FL machine series processes tube walls with
a maximum width of 3,600 millimeters and a length of 25,000 millimeters, or
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more precisely and quickly by means of the compression bending method.
It ensures that the tube wall is clamped securely at all times. In addition,
there is the option of bending the tube walls diagonally. This enables simple
manufacture of the “gradient” of a boiler wall and saves considerable
levelling and assembly costs when setting up the boiler. “Overall we have
been developing and producing tube cold bending machines, which are
specially designed for the particular requirements in power plant
construction, for more than 55 years” summarizes Managing Director Bert
Zorn. “We supply the full band-width of solutions: From the semi-automatic
booster bending machine and fully-automatic bending lines all the way to
turn-key systems.” In addition, the company has developed the heavy duty
machine series for power plant construction. Equipped with special tools
these machines bend thin and thick-walled tubes up to a maximum
diameter of 426 x 22 millimeters.
(info box 1)
Facts about the Turn Key System for Power Plant Construction
CNC-controlled tube cold bending machine 100 DB Twin with two
bend heads
Operator’s cabin
The transport trolley with index head
Hanging guide surface
Flip-over table
Gripper unit
Tube discharge
(info box 2)
CNC 100 DB Twin
bends high-strength materials with process reliability with a bending
radius of 1 x D and below
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Efficient and central operation of all system components from an
operator’s cabin
Fully automated system ensures high production speeds and
reduced cycle times
High flexibility when manufacturing complex tube systems
(info box 3)
Technical data
Max. tube diameter:
88.9 x 11 millimeters
Bending direction:
Clockwise and counter-clockwise
August 2015
7,190 characters (including spaces, excluding info
(1) CNC 100 DB Twin
(2) Terminal End Bender
(3) Rendering of the turn key system
Caption of picture (1) – CNC 100 DB Twin
The CNC 100 DB Twin bends high-strength materials with process
reliability with a bending radius of 1 x D and below.
Caption of picture (2) Terminal End Bender
Applying bends effortlessly at the rear end of a tube serpentine with the
Caption of picture (3) Rendering of the turn key system
The rationalization of the Turn-Key-System extends across the complete
production chain: from material supply to handling, quality testing, and
bending process all the way to the dispatch of the ready bent pipelines.
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Schwarze-Robitec GmbH – The Company
Having been founded in 1903, Schwarze-Robitec is among the international leading experts
in the area of tube bending machines. At the head office in Cologne, the cold-bending
machine specialist currently employs 130 staff. The company is represented worldwide
through long-standing partners. As early as in 1977, Schwarze-Robitec produced the world’s
first CNC tube bending machine. Over 2,400 machines have been sold to date, many of
which have been in unrestricted use in production for over 35 years. In addition to tube
bending machines and bending tools, the range supplied by Schwarze-Robitec also includes
tube perforating machines, measuring systems and solutions in special engineering. Without
exception, the Schwarze-Robitec list of references includes all of the prestigious
manufacturers from the automotive industry, energy sector and shipbuilding. Furthermore,
the company’s solutions are used in aerospace and many other industries. More information
about Schwarze-Robitec can be found online at
Company Contact Schwarze-Robitec GmbH
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Bert Zorn
Schwarze-Robitec GmbH
Phone: +49 (0)221-89008-0 • Fax: +49 (0)221-89008-9920
Email: • Internet:
Advertising Contact
Corinna Hellwig • Schwarze-Robitec GmbH
Phone: +49 221 89008-0 • Fax: +49 221 89008-9920
Email: • Internet:
Press Contact
Susanne Umack • additiv pr GmbH & Co. KG
Public relations for logistics, steel, investment goods and IT
Herzog-Adolf-Straße 3 • 56410 Montabaur • Germany
Phone: +49 (0)2602-950 99-12 • Fax: +49 (0)2602-950 99-17
Email: • Internet:
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